CLEVELAND, Tenn. (WATE) — Six Chattanooga juveniles were arrested in connection to a series of vehicle thefts and the shooting of a Bradley County Sheriff’s Office K9 on Wednesday.
The six juveniles were arrested after one of the stolen vehicles was spotted on Dahlia Street at an apartment there. Charges from the Cleveland Police Department against the 6 juveniles are: 15 counts of auto burglary, conspiracy to commit auto burglary and felony evading arrest. Charges from the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office are: theft over $10,000, conspiracy to commit theft over $10,000, and attempted intentional killing of an animal.
At this time, K9 Joker remains in treatment at an emergency animal hospital in Chattanooga and his condition remains very serious. According to the K9’s medical summary, “He is an extremely strong patient who is being incredibly tolerant with his doctors and nurses.”
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As earlier reported, law enforcement responded to an auto burglary at an apartment complex on Harrison Pike in Cleveland at around 2 a.m. When they arrived, officers saw a white Jeep Gladiator fleeing the scene. Deputies with Bradley County made contact and attempted to stop the then confirmed stolen vehicle.
The suspects fled on foot into the woods around Toyota of Cleveland near Exit 20. K9 Joker was deployed by Deputy Eduardo Choate. The K9 made contact with the suspect and was shot multiple times. K9 Joker was immediately taken to an emergency animal hospital for surgery due to his life-threatening injuries. Deputy Choate was unharmed during the incident.
The BCSO SWAT Team was activated to keep the suspects within the area until taken into custody. Shortly after, a 2009 four-door Blue Silver Lexus with no tag and a loud muffler was stolen from the Withrow Road area and headed towards Chattanooga.